Your Guide to 117th Congress House Rules Proceedings

The House Rules package for the 117th Congress has been approved and all the juicy details are in Monday’s Congressional Record. Don’t have time to comb through the 50+ dense pages? We’ve got you covered with a handy index of what’s included:

Resolution adopting the rules of the House for the 117th Congress H. Res. 8H13
Vote to tableH18
Vote to refer to a select committeeH19
Section by section of the changes H. Res. 8 will make to the standing rulesH23
Vote on Rep. Cole amendment H34
Vote on motion to commit to a select committeeH35
Vote on the resolutionH36
Election of Members to certain standing committees H36
Fixing the daily hour of meeting for the first session of the 117th CongressH37
Consent to assemble outside the seat of Government H37
Authorizing Speaker, Majority Leader, and Minority Leader to accept resignations and make appointmentsH37
Granting Members permission to extend remarks and include extraneous material in the Congressional RecordH37
Making morning-hour debate in orderH37
Appointment of Members to House office building commissionH37
Reappointment of individuals to the US-China Economic and Security Review CommissionH37
Appointment of Members to act as Speaker Pro TemporeH38
Clerk designation of deputies with signing authorityH38
Sergeant at Arms notification of ongoing public health emergencyH38
Speaker designation of “covered period” for covid emergencyH38
Chair Announcements on 
1. floor privileges
2. introduction of bills and resolutions
3. unanimous consent requests for the consideration of legislation
4. 1-minute speeches
5. recognition for special order speeches
6. decorum in debate
7. conduct of votes by electronic device
8. use of handouts on the House floor
9. use of electronic equipment on the House floor
10. Use of the Chamber
11. Conduct during a covered period
Regulations for use of deposition authorityH41
Remote committee proceedings regulationsH41
Remote voting by proxy regulationsH42
Executive CommunicationsH43
Public Bills and ResolutionsH43

House Rules for the 117th Congress

The House of Representatives adopted a new rules package on Monday. Here is the text of H. Res 8, a section-by-section summary, a press release that highlights some of the major changes, and a decent overview of activities of the House Rules committee. We have put together a guide to rules reform proposals over the last decade, and, as you know by now, we have advocated for a number of improvements and closely followed the Member-day hearing. Roll Call’s Lindsey McPherson has a good high level summary of the contents. Please note: the House made minor changes to the draft rules, previously called H. Res 5, between Sunday and Monday.

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Forecast for January 3, 2021


Welcome back, Congress. It’s like you never left. Did you miss us? If so, make sure you subscribe (and tell your friends.) Our back issues are here.

Tick Tock: On Friday (Jan.1), the Senate overrode the NDAA veto (even as Sen. McConnell killed the boost to COVID relief), and today the House and Senate convene for the 117th Congress. The House is expected to adopt its rules on Monday; the Georgia elections, which decide control of the Senate, are on Tuesday, as are the House’s consideration of several good government bills on suspension (including the Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act); the House and Senate (in joint session) will count the electoral college vote on Wednesday.

So what exactly is a continuing body? The Senate considers itself a continuity body and the House does not. What this means, in part, is that the House must re-establish its rules and committees at the start of each Congress, but the Senate doesn’t. And yet, the House somehow has common-law rules that guide some of its day-one procedures and began operating today, but some Senate committees cannot operate because they are missing their chairs and have yet to reach an operating agreement (pending the results of upcoming elections). Weird.

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